Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Definitively I have a weakness for Eastern Europe fabulous stories and movies and this Marko Naberšnik film is no exception as is one that I enjoyed a lot because the natural, casual and serene storytelling style and excellent production values that cannot envy anything from more cinema prolific countries.
Based on the novel by Feri Lainšček tells a story around a garage in a small Eastern Slovenia town where laid-off mechanic Djuro arrives to work and there he meets Gajas, the garage owner and the most anachronism character you can imagine that will just involve you quite rapidly and soon enough you will feel warm for him. Around Gajas there are four regular friends that also are colorful characters well developed, especially the one that gets in real trouble. There is even romance between the younger generation characters and then the town mob that’s always tricking good at heart Gajas so he can never collects his money for the car work he does for the mobster.
The story starts slowly and takes its time to develop and introduce us to each character; perhaps by half the movie you will notice that the story pickups a different rhythm that’s kept until the very happy and according to me, cynical ending. But definitively is an entertaining and captivating film that will engage you without you hardly noticing, which to me definitively is a fantastic experience.
Performances are very good and most of all, so natural that honestly seems that you’re not seeing actors but regular and ordinary people and cinematography is compelling with beautiful takes of landscapes and fields, but also good framing in the takes inside/outside the garage.
Definitively this is a well constructed, entertaining and pleasant movie that’s suited for those that enjoy European cinema; yes, European cinema as this movie does not really look or feel like Eastern European cinema, perhaps has a style that slightly resembles French cinema.
The movie is Slovenia official submission to the 2009 Oscar’s, was a big commercial success in Slovenia where won the Audience Award for Best Picture at the 2007 Slovene Film Festival, as well as Best Actor to Vlado Novak (Gajas) and Best Screenplay for Marko Naberšnik.
I enjoyed how the movie slowly involved me by telling a simple everyday story that eventually becomes not so ordinary; but when this happens, you have already highly enjoyed the voyage into all those characters and situations.